Its All In The List - Part 9

Writing a Newsletter Clients Love 
Newsletters are one of the best freebies to send your clients and subscribers. Sending newsletters on a regular basis helps you to establish connections between you and your clients. Aside from this, if your clients find your newsletters useful, they may mention it to their friends, families, and acquaintances. This makes your newsletters a valuable marketing tool, as it can help your number of subscribers grow in numbers in a short time. 
However, there are two things that you need to remember in order to make a successful newsletter campaign. According to Tamara Gielen, an independent email marketing consultant, the success of a newsletter campaign lies in making newsletters that are relevant in content, and sending them to people with their permission. If you keep sending irrelevant newsletters to people without their permission, then you may just find yourself blocked from their email addresses or branded as a spammer, which could hurt your business terribly. 
Getting Permission 
Getting permission is the first step in making a successful newsletter campaign, and you can do this by asking people for their email addresses. If you are having trouble doing so, refer to the earlier parts of this ebook about the tips on how to successfully gather email addresses. 
When people give you their email addresses, they are already giving you permission to send them your newsletters. Thus, be sure not to disappoint them – be sure to send newsletters that have great content and free of charge. 
You have to be careful though, of the so-called “rented lists.” Some companies will offer to provide you with a list of email addresses that you can use in your newsletter campaign. But be wary. Most of the list they provide are old, unused and contains spam traps. 
Create Valuable Content 
After you get their permission, it’s time to send them the newsletter. But what should your newsletter contain? 
Obviously, it should contain something relevant and useful for the reader. A subscriber receives tons of emails nowadays, and they don’t have time to read all of them. Thus, they tend to ignore those that do not interest them. 
Getting to know what your subscribers want in terms of newsletters can be a tricky task at most, but there are ways to do it. One is by asking them about it whenever they sign up through a checklist. Provide a checklist in the sign up page with a lot of choices. For example, you can make a “what interests you?” box with a couple of choices like arts, tips, events, and so on. Here, they get to tick the boxes of the things that interest them, which serve as your basis for sending them the things that they want. 
Another way is to analyze your clients’ behavior. Since your list manager has a tracker, you can review the pages and links that your client has opened and viewed. This way, you can see what they are interested and what topics appeal to them the most, thus giving you an insight as to what newsletter to send them. 
A Preview Pane 
A preview pane allows your subscribers to view parts of your newsletter. Thus, it is important that you make your preview pane as interesting as possible. 
One thing you should remember is not to add too many images in the upper part of your preview pane because it may take a while to load, putting off your customers at the very beginning. Instead, write only your company’s name as the header followed immediately by the newsletter. Most of the time, the preview pane will only show the first few paragraphs of the newsletters in order to get your subscribers interested. If they download the newsletter, that is the only time that they can view the whole thing. 
Write Interesting Subject Lines 
Do away with the normal and boring subject lines for your newsletters. The subject lines refer to the titles that appear on their list of emails received. If your subject line does not interest them, then you may find your newsletters deleted without being read. 
When writing subject lines, you have to make sure that they sound interesting. A subject line that goes, “Christmas Dinners” is not likely to attract any subscribers, unlike a subject line like: “Great and Easy Christmas Recipes.” 
Also, you may want to keep your subject lines short. The subject line is supposed to tell your subscribers what the newsletter is about without giving away too much information. Furthermore, most of your subscribers will not even finish reading the whole subject line before they decide whether or not to download your newsletter. Thus, make the first few words of your subject line as interesting as possible. Use a lot of adjectives and adverbs if possible, as this these easily catches a reader’s attention. 
Researching on Your Topic 
Before you even get to write your newsletter, make sure that you’ve done your research thoroughly. Remember that nobody loves a half-baked potato – that is nobody wants to read a newsletter that isn’t well-written and well thought of. In order to help make your research easier, you should have planned about the format and layout of your newsletter. 
Choose the Right Title 
The title is one of the most important aspects of a good newsletter. Your title should be catchy and interesting; otherwise, your subscribers won’t even bother reading the whole content of your newsletter, no matter how good it is. 
Be Brief and Concise 
Avoid too many unwanted fillers in your newsletters. Don’t start by telling your subscribers something that they already know. Instead, keep your newsletter brief and concise. Go straight to the point and drive home towards the topic. You can, of course, play with words and get a little creative with your phrases and sentences to spice up your newsletter, but be sure to stay focused and on track. 
Impress your Subscribers with Facts 
Adding a bit of statistics and other interesting facts to back up your claims is one way of impressing your readers. This helps to build their trust on you and your newsletter because they know that you did your research well. 
Polish Your Newsletter 
Proofread your newsletter. Make sure that every detail is thoroughly covered, from spelling, grammar and even punctuation. Your subscribers will almost certainly lose faith in a business who can’t even write in straight English. 
These are some of the things you should consider when writing your newsletters. Remember that your newsletters reflect what you can give your clients, and if you don’t give them something good, then chances are you won’t have any subscribers left to send your newsletters to in the future. 
How to Make Great Freebies for Your Clients 
We already discussed how to write newsletters that will get your subscribers clicking the download button. Of course, you won’t always be sending newsletters, lest your subscribers get tired and fed up. You have to constantly think of other freebies that you can send your subscribers. Here are some more materials that you can send, along with great tips to help you spice up their contents. 
Interesting Articles 
Interesting articles are some things that you can send your subscribers. To be able to write articles that keep your readers glued to your page, here are some things that you should keep in mind: 
  1. Determine the topic of your article. Don’t settle for the first thing that comes to your mind. Rather, spend some time brainstorming different topics that you can write about.
  2. Research your target market. Know what your target audience wants and what questions they need answers for. Look for the keywords that they use in looking up topics, like “how to...” or “The Advantages of...” and so on.
  3. Think of a good and punchy title.
  4. Write your introduction, body and conclusion keeping in mind the focus
    of your article.
5. Proofread your article and check for any errors that you may have missed. Check your spelling, grammar, style, tone and others. 
Writing Effective Announcements 
An announcement is a great way of letting your subscribers know about the different things you have brewing at the back of your head. Although writing an announcement may sound easy, there are some things that you should remember to be able to write effective announcements that will get your reader’s attention. 
  1. Conciseness is the key. Be direct with what you want to announce. When readers see an announcement, they don’t expect lengthy novels or passages.
  2. Write in a friendly manner. As most of your announcements are about good news, keep the tone as cheerful as possible.
  3. Include short, positive testimonials about your announcements if any. They should encourage your readers to pay attention.
  4. Present all necessary information in a simple way. Avoid technical terms and languages if possible.
Giving Away an Audio or Video 
This can get quite complicated especially at first, but you’ll get the hang of it soon enough. However, you will need a lot of technical stuff in order to make a high-quality video or audio. 
Creating an Audio File 
An audio file is quite easy to do if you have the right materials. If you think your voice is as good as those DJs that you listen to in your radio, then an audio recording is one freebie that you should definitely make. 
Makin a voice recording on a chosen topic need not be too difficult. Here is a simple way of making an audio recording. 
  1. Get software that allows you to record your voice, like Corel, Ulead or PowerDirector.
  2. Make sure that you have a microphone connected to your computer. And make sure it’s a good one. You don’t want your subscribers to be listening to choppy and blurred audio recording.
  3. Save your audio file in MP3 format.
  4. Add music in the intro and ending to liven things up. Soft background
    music may work well, too.
  5. Listen to it again, and again, and again until you are completely satisfied.
Creating a Video File 
Almost everybody knows how to take a video of themselves giving a lecture about how to do this and how to do that. Why, you can see hundreds of such videos on YouTube being uploaded almost every day. Even 6 year-olds are doing it! 
If you have the confidence to stand in front of a camera, then get your script ready and dress up nicely. Follow the simple steps outlined below to make your own video. 
  1. Get a web cam for your computer. Don’t buy cheap though. Cheap web cams have low resolutions that result in poor videos.
  2. Install video editing software like the three mentioned above.
  3. Press the record button and start talking. Nobody’s watching yet, so you
    shouldn’t feel nervous.
  4. Watch your video, and if you are satisfied, you can add any additional
    features that you think will make your target audience like your video. These may include pictures flashing on the side of the screen, some texts on the lower part, and so on. Yes, these are possible with the programs mentioned above, and it doesn’t take a lot of technical skill to operate them.
One thing you should remember is that when you do your audio recordings or videos, it is best to practice before recording. Editing such things after you record them can be quite a hassle, and will require serious editing and technical skills. Thus, it is best to get it right from the start. 

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